Over the past two years, with all the health control rules and social distancing measures in place all over the world, all signs point to the historical growth of ecommerce worldwide. The pullulation of ecommerce has accelerated progress in other related areas, notably in the field of ecommerce packaging, which plays a critical role in leaving a good first impression for practically all ecommerce deliveries. With this in mind, what are the top ecommerce packaging trends that will shape its future in 2022? Let’s dive right in together to find out!
The importance of ecommerce packaging
First of all, let’s define “ecommerce packaging.” Simply put, it’s the way the ecommerce providers utilize to deliver goods to customers directly with protection and brand identity (ideally) at reasonable shipping rates. In other words, ecommerce packaging succinctly represents almost everything that a common end-user cares most about in online retail packaging solutions—security, corporate image, and fair delivery prices. This also means that the ecommerce packaging design has a direct correlation with the unboxing experience of end-users as it may single-handedly make or break the consumers’ expectations.
That is probably why, like its ecommerce counterpart, the development of ecommerce packaging is characterized by rapid expansion. Mordor Intelligence, a global market research firm, valued the total ecommerce packaging market at USD 27.04 billion in 2020 and predicted its growth at a CAGR of 14.59% from 2021, hitting USD 61.55 billion in 2026. According to GlobeNewswire, the UK-based market intelligence provider Visiongain went one step further to forecast the ecommerce packaging market from 2020 up to 2030. It predicted that the Asia Pacific region, which is currently dominating the trade, would continue its growth momentum over these ten years.
Popular ecommerce packaging trends in 2022
It’s no coincidence that sustainable packaging is listed among the top packaging trends in the ecommerce field now. In fact, its ability to accommodate for reduced environmental impact and help decrease ecological footprint, as defined by Wikipedia, brings forth not just long-term eco-friendly solutions but also a variety of practical reasons for ecommerce business.
For one thing, from a consumer behavior point of view, customers nowadays increasingly order a lot more products online, so any packaging that is reusable and recyclable to help cut their levels of waste is almost certainly welcomed. Another plausible factor is the corporate image that an ecommerce portrays. By adopting sustainable packaging, people associate the firm with being eco-conscious and at the forefront of current environmental concerns such as the climate change issue. Well-designed reusable packaging with branding also unwittingly helps to spread the word about the business.
One might wonder which industries are most suitable to deploy sustainable packaging. The truth is that there is no hard and fast rule; as long as an ecommerce product can be delivered in sustainable packaging, any industry can follow this trend. For instance, various ecommerce enterprises may find corrugated boxes or any paper-based packaging beneficial for packaging their products. GWP Group, a packaging industry veteran with over 30 years of experience in the UK, has named these two packaging types as the most sustainable and environmentally friendly.
And of course, corrugated packaging can come in various measurements and are highly customizable in terms of branding and sizes. For example, one can order a mailer box for smaller items instead of a much bigger corrugated carton box such as the one shown in the below picture.
On the other hand, a compostable mailer bag or envelope made with biodegradable material which is highly recyclable serves as a perfect choice for smaller and light goods delivery, such as clothing, paperback books, cosmetics as well as light packaged food items, as demonstrated in the picture below:
To put it plainly, minimalist packaging refers to the application of minimalism in packaging. “Reduction” is the keyword here, be it in terms of packing materials or visual design.
By grouping the customer purchasing behavior according to different personality-driven groups, Euromonitor International, a London-based global market research company, offered a glimpse into the popularity of minimalism among consumers. According to its study, minimalism is fairly well-received, as it’s represented in more than half of the 40 nations surveyed in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, and is consistently among the top five consumer types according to personality from 2019 to 2021.
Aside from meeting popular consumer demands, minimalist packaging for ecommerce helps to project a fresh and clean corporate image and can help to save direct costs by using fewer materials and simpler designs. An example of minimalist packaging can be as basic as the one portrayed in the picture below:
Minimalist packaging is particularly prevalent in the jewelry and beauty industries, where aesthetics are prioritized. Some fine examples of such packaging include this paper packaging box and another of its alternatives, both of which focus on luxury goods such as wine, chocolate, jewelry, and other high-end items, as well as the simple elegant design displayed in the image below:
In any case, while looking for minimalist packaging, it’s important to keep in mind that no matter how simple or minimalistic a package is, it still needs fundamental packing essentials such as adhesive tape, package fillers, and inserts. The good news is, in line with the growing demand for sustainable packaging, environmentally friendly packaging infills, including the one shown in the picture below, are up for grabs now.
Digital printing is a much larger scale version of a typical digital laser or inkjet printer that prints digital images directly from any digital storage source. It offers a much lower cost for smaller print projects and instant turnaround compared to offset printing since digital printing requires no printing plate and setup sheets.
The nature of digital printing that allows quick printing for lower quantity projects makes it an ideal packaging printing method for highly personalized demands. Examples include the customizable digital printing mailer bags shown in the picture below or this custom design mailer bag.
A quick overview
Overall, the top three popular ecommerce packaging trends in 2022 are sustainable packaging, minimalist packaging, and digital printing. With the growth of the ecommerce industry in recent years, ecommerce packaging has emerged as the face of ecommerce businesses in response to the high unboxing expectations of end-users. To take full advantage of the expanding ecommerce wave, it’s strongly recommended for any wholesale business targeting the ecommerce market to learn more about ecommerce packaging trends. If you’re interested in learning more about packaging, especially sustainable packaging, check out this article to find out more.